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Wang Yi Meets with President of the European Council Charles Michel
2019-12-17

On December 17, 2019 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with President of the European Council Charles Michel at the headquarters of the European Union (EU) in Brussels.

Wang Yi conveyed President Xi Jinping's warm greetings to Charles Michel. Wang Yi expressed, next year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the EU, and it is also the first year for the new EU leadership. The relations between the two sides will embrace new development opportunities. The current international situation is facing severe challenges, with rising unilateralism, rampant protectionism and resurging Cold War mentality. As the two major forces in the world's multi-polarization, China and the EU should join hands to defend multilateralism and maintain international order. To this end, the two sides should enhance the consciousness of partnership, and make it clear that China and the EU are partners, not rivals. China-EU cooperation will have more room and potential as China is pushing for further reform and opening-up. Both sides should reach a high-level bilateral investment agreement as scheduled, and consider launching the feasibility study on a free trade agreement between China and the EU as soon as possible. The two sides should also strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in innovation and digital economy, and avoid taking discriminatory measures against specific countries or companies. As China and the EU are pushing cooperation in climate change, connectivity, sustainable development and fight against terrorism, the two sides should provide new impetus for and add new connotations to such efforts.

Wang Yi said, China's cooperation with the Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC), as an integral part of and a helpful supplement to China-EU cooperation, follows openness, transparency and inclusiveness, adheres to equality, mutual benefit and win-win results, and follows market rules and EU standards. Such cooperation is conducive for the CEECs to accelerate development, and promote the balanced development and integration process of the EU. The Chinese side is willing to make China-EU relations and China-CEEC relations facilitate each other through enhanced communication with the EU side.

Charles Michel asked Wang Yi to convey his sincere greetings to the Chinese leaders. Charles Michel said, I held telephone talks with President Xi Jinping shortly after I took office, indicating a good start of exchanges and cooperation between the EU and China. The EU side firmly believes that multilateralism and international cooperation are the best ways to cope with current global challenges. China is playing an increasingly important role in the United Nations and the global affairs. It is necessary for the EU and China to further strengthen dialogues, jointly maintain international order and rules, better cope with common challenges and threats, and give a new impetus to bilateral relations. The EU also believes that the "17+1 cooperation" is an important supplement to EU-China relations. Next year is very important for EU-China relations. The EU is ready to work with the Chinese side to make full preparations for the success of a series of high-level exchanges scheduled for next year, and promote positive progress in the EU-China comprehensive strategic partnership. The EU side is eagerly looking forward to completing negotiations on bilateral investment agreement next year, and further enhancing communication and cooperation on major issues including climate change, connectivity and sustainable development.

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